Saturn Returns and Musical Happiness Set for Lincoln Center Theater

News   Saturn Returns and Musical Happiness Set for Lincoln Center Theater
Happiness, the new musical from Grey Gardens creators Michael Korie and Scott Frankel, and Noah Haidle's drama Saturn Returns will play Lincoln Center Theater's Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater in 2008-09.
Michael Korie and Scott Frankel
Michael Korie and Scott Frankel Photo by Aubrey Reuben

Nicholas Martin, who most recently staged Paul Rudnick's The New Century for LCT, will direct the new work from Mr. Marmalade playwright Haidle. Saturn Returns begins Oct. 16 and officially opens Off-Broadway Nov. 10.

"The planet Saturn's orbital return to its position at the moment of a person's birth happens every 30 years," press notes state. "In Saturn Returns, playwright Noah Haidle uses this phenomenon to take a look at one man – Gustin – during these pivotal moments as he confronts the three women in his life."

Haidle has penned the work so that three different actors — Robert Eli, John McMartin (Grey Gardens) and James Rebhorn (Twelve Angry Men) — portray Gustin at separate stages in his life. Actress Rosie Benton (Les Liaisons Dangereuses) will inhabit all of the women depicted in the work.

Designing the production are Ralph Funicello (set design), Robert Morgan (costume design) and Mark Bennett (original music and sound design).

In spring 2009, also at the Newhouse, Lincoln Center Theater will present the world premiere musical Happiness, the new collaboration between (Grey Gardens) Tony nominees Michael Korie and Scott Frankel and book writer John Weidman (Bounce, Pacific Overtures). Tony Award-winning director and choreographer Susan Stroman will return to Lincoln Center, the home of her Tony-winning work Contact, to direct Happiness, which is about "a disparate group of New Yorkers caught on a subway train under unusual circumstances."

Lincoln Center Theater commissioned the work that featured Tony Award winner Norbert Leo Butz (Is He Dead?), Horatio Sanz ("SNL") and Jennifer Laura Thompson (Wicked) in a May 2008 reading. Casting for the upcoming full production at Lincoln Center has not been announced.

The design team for Happiness includes Thomas Lynch (set design), William Ivey Long (costume design), Peter Kaczorowski (lighting design) and Scott Lehrer (sound design).

Happiness marks the Lincoln Center debut for Frankel and Korie who are also at work on a musical adaptation of the film "Finding Neverland" with librettist and playwright Allan Knee. Knee penned The Man Who Was Peter Pan, the dramatic inspiration for the 2004 Miramax film.

Exact dates for Happiness will be announced shortly. Lincoln Center Theater will also produce the Broadway production of Horton Foote's Dividing The Estate, which begins performances at the Booth Theatre Oct. 20.

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